Turkey's president says the nation voted for stability in weekend parliamentary elections and the world should respect the result. The AK party, which Recep Tayyip Erdogan founded, won with almost half the vote.
Speaking to reporters after prayers at an Istanbul mosque on Monday, Erdogan called for unity in Turkey and for the result to be accepted, attacking the global media for its critical coverage of him.
"Is this your understanding of democracy?" he said. "Now a party with some 50 percent in Turkey has attained power... This should be respected by the whole world, but I have not seen such maturity."
"The national will manifested itself on November 1 in favor of stability," Erdogan said of Sunday's vote which returned the AKP to the position of having an overall majority in the Turkish parliament.
The Islamist-rooted party took just under 50 percent of the vote according to initial results, which would be enough to control some 316 of the 550 seats in parliament. It's a drastic turnaround from elections in June which left the AKP short of a majority for the first time since 2002 and threatened to put the brakes on Erdogan's ambitions to extend the power of the presidency, traditionally a largely symbolic role in Turkey. Coalition talks following that vote failed and Erdogan called the snap vote for November.
Critics have accused Erdogan of capitalizing on public fear to regain a majority in the country which during the past five months has seen the resumption of fighting against the outlawed Kurdish militant group the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Bombings in the southern city of Suruc and the capital Ankara killed more than 100 people in early October.
"Erdogan rode the wave of violence back to power," said Aykan Erdemir of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a former Turkish opposition MP.
Meanwhile the co-chair of the European Greens party Reinhard Bütikofer has said the EU should carefully scrutinize the results of Sunday's vote, in which the AKP's dominance surprised many.
"We will have to look closely as to what extent this surprising result is simply a result of incorrect forecasting by all the local opinion polls or possibly also the result of manipulation," Bütikofer told the German news agency DPA.
German government welcomes 'peaceful' vote
"We welcome the fact that yesterday's parliamentary elections were peaceful," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference in Berlin on Monday, adding that it would be crucial for the new government to tackle the country's many challenges "in a spirit of national unity and preparedness to compromise."
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry added: "We take note of the result of the election with respect."
The co-chairman of Germany's Greens party, Cem Özdemir, expressed fears the election result would lead to a new influx of refugees into Germany from Turkey, this time Turkish citizens themselves.
"You cannot blame someone for not wanting to live in a country which Erdogan is increasingly turning into a sort of Putin-regime," he told a public broadcaster in the state of Hesse.
Özdemir leveled criticism at German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her recent meeting with Erdogan in Turkey.
The EU Commission's foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, noted Sunday's strong voter turnout and said the EU leaders were looking forward to the preliminary reports of election watchdogs.
Markets react positively
Both Turkish stocks and the lira currency rose in value Monday following the AKP's win.
The lira was around its highest level against the US dollar in seven years in early trading Monday, quoted at 2.78, up 4.4 percent.
"The Turkish lira could now see one of its strongest periods, moving closer to two per dollar down from three," wrote FXstreet analyst Valeria Bednarik in a note published by the Anatolia news agency.
On the Istanbul stock exchange the main index, the BIST, was up 5.4 percent at 83,735 points shortly after the opening.
Turkey's economy has been struggling with growth sliding to less than 3 percent last year, compared to about 10 percent five years ago.
The chief economist at Finansbank, Inan Demir, said that even though markets were expected to gain on the removal of immediate uncertainty, question marks remained over the fate of the Kurdish peace process, future economic policies and whether the AKP would press on with its clampdown on its domestic rivals and critical media.
se/kms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters, KNA)